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1.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 8: 779073, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809356

ABSTRACT

Background: The fatal consequences of an infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 are not only caused by severe pneumonia, but also by thrombosis. Platelets are important regulators of thrombosis, but their involvement in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to determine their functional and biochemical profile in patients with COVID-19 in dependence of mortality within 5-days after hospitalization. Methods: The COVID-19-related platelet phenotype was examined by analyzing their basal activation state via integrin αIIbß3 activation using flow cytometry and the proteome by unbiased two-dimensional differential in-gel fluorescence electrophoresis. In total we monitored 98 surviving and 12 non-surviving COVID-19 patients over 5 days of hospital stay and compared them to healthy controls (n = 12). Results: Over the observation period the level of basal αIIbß3 activation on platelets from non-surviving COVID-19 patients decreased compared to survivors. In line with this finding, proteomic analysis revealed a decrease in the total amount of integrin αIIb (ITGA2B), a subunit of αIIbß3, in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy controls; the decline was even more pronounced for the non-survivors. Consumption of the fibrin-stabilizing factor coagulation factor XIIIA (F13A1) was higher in platelets from COVID-19 patients and tended to be higher in non-survivors; plasma concentrations of the latter also differed significantly. Depending on COVID-19 disease status and mortality, increased amounts of annexin A5 (ANXA5), eukaryotic initiation factor 4A-I (EIF4A1), and transaldolase (TALDO1) were found in the platelet proteome and also correlated with the nasopharyngeal viral load. Dysregulation of these proteins may play a role for virus replication. ANXA5 has also been identified as an autoantigen of the antiphospholipid syndrome, which is common in COVID-19 patients. Finally, the levels of two different protein disulfide isomerases, P4HB and PDIA6, which support thrombosis, were increased in the platelets of COVID-19 patients. Conclusion: Platelets from COVID-19 patients showed significant changes in the activation phenotype, in the processing of the final coagulation factor F13A1 and the phospholipid-binding protein ANXA5 compared to healthy subjects. Additionally, these results demonstrate specific alterations in platelets during COVID-19, which are significantly linked to fatal outcome.

2.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 133(23-24): 1310-1317, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756806

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Diagnosis and treatment of influenza patients are often provided across several medical specialties. We compared patient outcomes at an infectious diseases (ID), a rheumatology (Rheu) and a pulmonology (Pul) department. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this prospective observational multicenter study we included all influenza positive adults who were hospitalized and treated at flu isolation wards in three hospitals in Vienna during the season 2018/2019. RESULTS: A total of 490 patients (49% female) with a median age of 73 years (interquartile range [IQR] 61-82) were included. No differences regarding age, sex and most underlying diseases were present at admission. Frequencies of the most common complications differed: acute kidney failure (ID 12.7%, Rheu 21.2%, Pulm 37.1%, p < 0.001), acute heart failure (ID 4.3%, Rheu 17.1%, Pulm 14.4%, p < 0.001) and respiratory insufficiency (ID 45.1%, Rheu 41.5%, Pulm 56.3%, p = 0.030). Oseltamivir prescription was lowest at the pulmonology flu ward (ID 79.6%, Rheu 90.5%, Pulm 61.7%, p < 0.001). In total 176 patients (35.9%) developed pneumonia. Antibiotic selection varied between the departments: amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (ID 28.9%, Rheu 63.8%, Pulm 5.9%, p < 0.001), cefuroxime (ID 28.9%, Rheu 1.3%, Pulm 0%, p < 0.001), 3rd generation cephalosporins (ID 4.4%, Rheu 5%, Pulm 72.5%, p < 0.001), doxycycline (ID 17.8%, Rheu 0%, Pulm 0%, p < 0.001). The median length of stay was significantly different between wards: ID 6 days (IQR 5-8), Rheu 6 days (IQR 5-7) and Pulm 7 days (IQR 5-9.5, p = 0.034). In-hospital mortality was 4.3% and did not differ between specialties. CONCLUSION: We detected differences in oseltamivir usage, length of in-hospital stay and antibiotic choices for pneumonia. Influenza-associated mortality was unaffected by specialty.


Subject(s)
Influenza, Human , Adult , Aged , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Influenza, Human/drug therapy , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Oseltamivir , Seasons
3.
J Gen Intern Med ; 2022 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750819

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Point-of-care antigen tests (AgTs) for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) enable the rapid testing of infected individuals and are easy-to-use. However, there are few studies evaluating their clinical use. OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to evaluate and compare the clinical performance characteristics of various commercial SARS-CoV-2 AgTs. DESIGN: The sensitivity of five AgTs, comprising four rapid antigen tests (RAT; AMP Rapid Test SARS-CoV-2 Ag, NADAL COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test, CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test, and Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test) and one sandwich chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA; LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 Assay), were evaluated in 300 nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs. Reverse transcriptase (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used as a reference method. PARTICIPANTS: NP swabs were collected from patients admitted to hospital due to COVID-19. KEY RESULTS: Sensitivities of the AgTs ranged from 64.9 to 91.7% for samples with RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values lower than 30 and were 100% for cycle threshold (Ct) values lower than 20. The highest sensitivity was observed for CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test, and Roche SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test. Multivariate analysis using time from symptom onset and the Ct value for AgT sensitivity showed an inverse correlation. Further, the female sex was an independent factor of lower RAT sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS: Antigen tests from NP swab samples show high sensitivity in patients with a Ct value < 20. The best clinical sensitivity can be obtained using AgTs within the first 6 days after symptom onset.

4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322903

ABSTRACT

Background: A significant portion of critically ill patients with COVID-19 are at high risk of developing ICU-acquired swallowing dysfunction (neurogenic dysphagia) as a consequence of requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation. Pharyngeal Electrical Stimulation (PES) is a simple and safe treatment for neurogenic dysphagia. Previously it has been shown that PES can restore safe swallowing in orally intubated or tracheotomised ICU-patients with neurogenic dysphagia following severe stroke. We report the case of a patient with severe neurogenic post-extubation dysphagia (PED) due to prolonged intubation and severe general muscle weakness related to COVID-19, which was successfully treated using PES. Case Presentation A 71-year-old female patient with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection developed neurogenic dysphagia following prolonged intubation in the ICU. To avoid aerosol generating procedures, her swallowing function was evaluated non-instrumentally as recommended by recently published international guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her swallowing function was markedly impaired and PES therapy was recommended. PES led to a rapid improvement of the post-extubation dysphagia (PED), as evaluated by bedside swallowing assessments using the Gugging Swallowing Screen (GUSS), Dysphagia Severity Rating Scale (DSRS) and diet screening using the Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS). The improved swallowing, as reflected by these measures, allowed this patient to transfer from the ICU to a non-intensive medical department five days after completing PES treatment. Conclusions: PES treatment contributed to the restoration of a safe swallowing function in this critically ill patient with COVID-19 and ICU-acquired swallowing dysfunction. Early clinical bedside swallowing assessment and dysphagia intervention in COVID-19 patients is crucial to optimise their full recovery. Pharyngeal Electrical Stimulation may contribute to a safe and earlier ICU discharge of patients with ICU-acquired swallowing dysfunction. Earlier ICU discharge and reduced rates of re-intubation following PES can help alleviate some of the pressure on ICU bed capacity, which is critical in times of a health emergency such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

5.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 8: 802566, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686459

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) induces a hypercoagulatory state that frequently leads to thromboembolic complications. Whereas anticoagulation is associated with reduced mortality, the role of antiplatelet therapy in COVID-19 is less clear. We retrospectively analyzed the effect of anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy in 578 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and prospectively monitored 110 patients for circulating microthrombi and plasma markers of coagulation in the first week of admission. Moreover, we determined platelet shape change and also thrombi in postmortem lung biopsies in a subset of patients with COVID-19. We observed no association of antiplatelet therapy with COVID-19 survival. Adverse outcome in COVID-19 was associated with increased activation of the coagulation cascade, whereas circulating microthrombi did not increase in aggravated disease. This was in line with analysis of postmortem lung biopsies of patients with COVID-19, which revealed generally fibrin(ogen)-rich and platelet-low thrombi. Platelet spreading was normal in severe COVID-19 cases; however, plasma from patients with COVID-19 mediated an outcome-dependent inhibitory effect on naïve platelets. Antiplatelet medication disproportionally exacerbated this platelet impairment in plasma of patients with fatal outcome. Taken together, this study shows that unfavorable outcome in COVID-19 is associated with a profound dysregulation of the coagulation system, whereas the contribution of platelets to thrombotic complications is less clear. Adverse outcome may be associated with impaired platelet function or platelet exhaustion. In line, antiplatelet therapy was not associated with beneficial outcome.

6.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 795026, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686455

ABSTRACT

Objective: To develop and validate a prognostic model for in-hospital mortality after four days based on age, fever at admission and five haematological parameters routinely measured in hospitalized Covid-19 patients during the first four days after admission. Methods: Haematological parameters measured during the first 4 days after admission were subjected to a linear mixed model to obtain patient-specific intercepts and slopes for each parameter. A prediction model was built using logistic regression with variable selection and shrinkage factor estimation supported by bootstrapping. Model development was based on 481 survivors and 97 non-survivors, hospitalized before the occurrence of mutations. Internal validation was done by 10-fold cross-validation. The model was temporally-externally validated in 299 survivors and 42 non-survivors hospitalized when the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) was prevalent. Results: The final model included age, fever on admission as well as the slope or intercept of lactate dehydrogenase, platelet count, C-reactive protein, and creatinine. Tenfold cross validation resulted in a mean area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of 0.92, a mean calibration slope of 1.0023 and a Brier score of 0.076. At temporal-external validation, application of the previously developed model showed an AUROC of 0.88, a calibration slope of 0.95 and a Brier score of 0.073. Regarding the relative importance of the variables, the (apparent) variation in mortality explained by the six variables deduced from the haematological parameters measured during the first four days is higher (explained variation 0.295) than that of age (0.210). Conclusions: The presented model requires only variables routinely acquired in hospitals, which allows immediate and wide-spread use as a decision support for earlier discharge of low-risk patients to reduce the burden on the health care system. Clinical Trial Registration: Austrian Coronavirus Adaptive Clinical Trial (ACOVACT); ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier NCT04351724.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Retrospective Studies
7.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0202921, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673365

ABSTRACT

The objective of our study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of rapid antigen detection tests versus those of reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) using oral, anterior nasal, and nasopharyngeal swabs. The underlying prospective, diagnostic case-control-type accuracy study included 87 hospitalized and nonhospitalized participants in a positive and a negative sample cohort between 16 March and 14 May 2021 in two hospitals in Vienna. SARS-CoV-2 infection status was confirmed by RT-PCR. Participants self-performed one oral and one anterior nasal swab for the rapid antigen test, immediately followed by two nasopharyngeal swabs for the rapid antigen test and RT-PCR by the investigator. Test results were read after 15 min, and participants completed a questionnaire in the meantime. Test parameters were calculated based on the evaluation of 87 participants. The overall sensitivity of rapid antigen detection tests versus that of RT-PCR with oral, anterior nasal, and nasopharyngeal samples was 18.18% (95% confidence interval [CI] 8.19% to 32.71%), 63.04% (95% CI 47.55% to 76.79%), and 73.33% (95% CI 58.06% to 85.4%), respectively. All sampling methods had a test specificity of 100% regardless of the cycle threshold (CT) value. Rapid antigen detection tests using self-collected anterior nasal swabs proved to be as sensitive as and more tolerable than professionally collected nasopharyngeal swabs for CT values up to 30 determined by RT-PCR. This finding illustrates the reliability of tests obtained by adequate self-collected anterior nasal specimen. Sensitivity was dependent upon the CT value for each sampling method. While the main advantage of rapid antigen detection tests is the immediate availability of results, PCR should be preferred in crucial settings wherever possible. IMPORTANCE Rapid antigen detection devices for SARS-CoV-2 represent a valuable tool for monitoring the spread of infection. However, the reliability of the tests depends largely on the test performance and the respective sampling method. Nasopharyngeal swabs mark the gold standard for sample collection in suspected respiratory tract infections but are unsuitable for widespread application, as they must be performed by medically trained personnel. With the underlying study, the head-to-head test performance and the usability of self-collected samples for SARS-CoV-2 detection using rapid antigen detection devices were evaluated. The results confirm similar sensitivity of self-collected anterior nasal swabs to that of professionally collected nasopharyngeal swabs for patients with a CT of < 30 determined by RT-PCR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Mouth/virology , Nasopharynx/virology , Nose/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
8.
Cells ; 10(12)2021 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613627

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically highlighted the vulnerability of the elderly population towards viral and other infectious threats, illustrating that aging is accompanied by dysregulated immune responses currently summarized in terms like inflammaging and immunoparalysis. To gain a better understanding on the underlying mechanisms of the age-associated risk of adverse outcome in individuals experiencing a SARS-CoV-2 infection, we analyzed the impact of age on circulating monocyte phenotypes, activation markers and inflammatory cytokines including interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in the context of COVID-19 disease progression and outcome in 110 patients. Our data indicate no age-associated differences in peripheral monocyte counts or subset composition. However, age and outcome are associated with differences in monocyte activation status. Moreover, a distinct cytokine pattern of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF in elderly survivors versus non-survivors, which consolidates over the time of hospitalization, suggests that older patients with adverse outcomes experience an inappropriate immune response, reminiscent of an inflammaging driven immunoparalysis. Our study underscores the value, necessity and importance of longitudinal monitoring in elderly COVID-19 patients, as dynamic changes after symptom onset can be observed, which allow for a differentiated insight into confounding factors that impact the complex pathogenesis following an infection with SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Aging/pathology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Monocytes/pathology , Acute Disease , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/metabolism , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/metabolism , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
9.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3411-3417, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Since the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, several reports indicated neurological involvement in COVID-19 disease. Muscle involvement has also been reported as evidenced by creatine kinase (CK) elevations and reports of myalgia. METHODS: Creatine kinase, markers of inflammation, pre-existing diseases and statin use were extracted from records of Austrian hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Disease severity was classified as severe in case of intensive care unit (ICU) admission or mortality. COVID-19 patients were additionally compared to an historical group of hospitalised influenza patients. RESULTS: Three hundred fifty-one patients with SARS-CoV-2 and 258 with influenza were included in the final analysis. CK was elevated in 27% of COVID-19 and in 28% of influenza patients. CK was higher in severe COVID-19 as were markers of inflammation. CK correlated significantly with inflammation markers, which had an independent impact on CK when adjusted for demographic variables and disease severity. Compared to influenza patients, COVID-19 patients were older, more frequently male, had more comorbidities, and more frequently had a severe disease course. Nevertheless, influenza patients had higher baseline CK than COVID-19, and 35.7% of intensive care unit (ICU)-admitted patients had CK levels >1,000 U/L compared to only 4.7% of ICU-admitted COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSIONS: HyperCKemia occurs in a similar frequency in COVID-19 and influenza infection. CK levels were lower in COVID-19 than in influenza in mild and severe disease. CK levels strongly correlate with disease severity and markers of inflammation. To date, it remains unclear whether hyperCKemia is due to a virus-triggered inflammatory response or direct muscle toxicity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Humans , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Muscles , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 8: 795624, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597865

ABSTRACT

Thromboembolic complications are frequently observed in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While COVID-19 is linked to platelet dysregulation, the association between disease outcome and platelet function is less clear. We prospectively monitored platelet activation and reactivity in 97 patients during the first week of hospitalization and determined plasma markers of platelet degranulation and inflammation. Adverse outcome in COVID-19 was associated with increased basal platelet activation and diminished platelet responses, which aggravated over time. Especially GPIIb/IIIa responses were abrogated, pointing toward impeded platelet aggregation. Moreover, platelet-leukocyte aggregate formation was diminished, pointing toward abrogated platelet-mediated immune responses in COVID-19. No general increase in plasma levels of platelet-derived granule components could be detected, arguing against platelet exhaustion. However, studies on platelets from healthy donors showed that plasma components in COVID-19 patients with unfavorable outcome were at least partly responsible for diminished platelet responses. Taken together this study shows that unfavorable outcome in COVID-19 is associated with a hypo-responsive platelet phenotype that aggravates with disease progression and may impact platelet-mediated immunoregulation.

11.
Cardiovasc Res ; 117(14): 2807-2820, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596913

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Anticoagulation was associated with improved survival of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in large-scale studies. Yet, the development of COVID-19-associated coagulopathy (CAC) and the mechanism responsible for improved survival of anticoagulated patients with COVID-19 remain largely elusive. This investigation aimed to explore the effects of anticoagulation and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in particular on patient outcome, CAC development, thromboinflammation, cell death, and viral persistence. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data of 586 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from three different regions of Austria were evaluated retrospectively. Of these, 419 (71.5%) patients received LMWH and 62 (10.5%) received non-vitamin-K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during hospitalization. Plasma was collected at different time points in a subset of 106 patients in order to evaluate markers of thromboinflammation (H3Cit-DNA) and the cell death marker cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Use of LMWH was associated with improved survival upon multivariable Cox regression (hazard ratio = 0.561, 95% confidence interval: 0.348-0.906). Interestingly, neither LMWH nor NOAC was associated with attenuation of D-dimer increase over time, or thromboinflammation. In contrast, anticoagulation was associated with a decrease in cfDNA during hospitalization, and curtailed viral persistence was observed in patients using LMWH leading to a 4-day reduction of virus positivity upon quantitative polymerase chain reaction [13 (interquartile range: 6-24) vs. 9 (interquartile range: 5-16) days, P = 0.009]. CONCLUSION: Time courses of haemostatic and thromboinflammatory biomarkers were similar in patients with and without LMWH, indicating either no effects of LMWH on haemostasis or that LMWH reduced hypercoagulability to levels of patients without LMWH. Nonetheless, anticoagulation with LMWH was associated with reduced mortality, improved markers of cell death, and curtailed viral persistence, indicating potential beneficial effects of LMWH beyond haemostasis, which encourages use of LMWH in COVID-19 patients without contraindications.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , /virology , Aged , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Austria/epidemiology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hemostasis , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , /prevention & control
12.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 2021 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561051

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Critically ill Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients have high rates of bacterial superinfection. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction panels may be able to provide useful information about the incidence and spectrum of bacteria causing superinfections. METHODS: In this retrospective observational study we included all COVID-19 positive patients admitted to our intensive care unit with suspected hospital-acquired pneumonia/ventilator-associated pneumonia (HAP/VAP) in whom the BioFire® Pneumonia Panel (PP) was performed from tracheal aspirate or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid for diagnostic purposes. The aim of our study was to analyze the spectrum of pathogens detected with the PP. RESULTS: In this study 60 patients with a median age of 62.5 years were included. Suspected VAP was the most frequent (48/60, 80%) indication for performing the PP. Tracheal aspirate was the predominant sample type (50/60, 83.3%). The PP led to a negative, monomicrobial and polymicrobial result in 36.7%, 35% and 28.3% of the patients, respectively. The three most detected bacteria were Staphylococcus aureus (13/60, 21.7%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (12/60, 20%) and Haemophilus influenzae (9/60, 15%). Neither atypical bacteria nor resistance genes were detected. Microbiological culture of respiratory specimens was performed in 36 (60%) patients concomitantly. The PP and microbiological culture yielded a non-concordant, partial concordant and completely concordant result in 13.9% (5/36), 30.6% (11/36) and 55.6% (20/36) of the analyzed samples, respectively. CONCLUSION: In critically ill COVID-19 patients with suspected HAP/VAP results of the PP and microbiological culture methods were largely consistent. In our cohort, S. aureus and K. pneumoniae were the most frequently detected organisms. A higher diagnostic yield may be achieved if both methods are combined.

13.
Am J Infect Control ; 50(2): 176-181, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1491617

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The use of nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs as a specimen collection method to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection is frequently perceived as uncomfortable by patients and requires trained personnel. In this study, detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 in mouthwash samples and buccal swabs were compared in both children and adults. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In patients admitted to hospital with confirmed COVID-19 within the previous 72 hours, NP and buccal swabs as well as mouthwash samples were collected. RT-qPCR was performed on all samples. RESULTS: In total, 170 samples were collected from 155 patients (137 adults and 18 children). Approximately 91.7% of the collected NP swabs were positive in RT-PCR compared to 63.1% of mouthwash samples and 42.4% of buccal swabs. Compared to NP swabs, the sensitivity of using mouthwash was 96.3% and 65.4% for buccal swabs in NP swab samples with a CT value <25. With increasing CT values, sensitivity decreased in both mouthwash and buccal swabs. The virus load was highest during the first week of infection, with a continuous decline observed in all three collection methods over time. DISCUSSION: Mouthwash presents an alternative collection method for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in the case of unfeasible NP swab sampling. Buccal swabs should not be used due to their low sensitivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Humans , Mouthwashes , Nasopharynx , Specimen Handling
14.
Cardiovasc Res ; 117(14): 2807-2820, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450385

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Anticoagulation was associated with improved survival of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in large-scale studies. Yet, the development of COVID-19-associated coagulopathy (CAC) and the mechanism responsible for improved survival of anticoagulated patients with COVID-19 remain largely elusive. This investigation aimed to explore the effects of anticoagulation and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in particular on patient outcome, CAC development, thromboinflammation, cell death, and viral persistence. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data of 586 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from three different regions of Austria were evaluated retrospectively. Of these, 419 (71.5%) patients received LMWH and 62 (10.5%) received non-vitamin-K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during hospitalization. Plasma was collected at different time points in a subset of 106 patients in order to evaluate markers of thromboinflammation (H3Cit-DNA) and the cell death marker cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Use of LMWH was associated with improved survival upon multivariable Cox regression (hazard ratio = 0.561, 95% confidence interval: 0.348-0.906). Interestingly, neither LMWH nor NOAC was associated with attenuation of D-dimer increase over time, or thromboinflammation. In contrast, anticoagulation was associated with a decrease in cfDNA during hospitalization, and curtailed viral persistence was observed in patients using LMWH leading to a 4-day reduction of virus positivity upon quantitative polymerase chain reaction [13 (interquartile range: 6-24) vs. 9 (interquartile range: 5-16) days, P = 0.009]. CONCLUSION: Time courses of haemostatic and thromboinflammatory biomarkers were similar in patients with and without LMWH, indicating either no effects of LMWH on haemostasis or that LMWH reduced hypercoagulability to levels of patients without LMWH. Nonetheless, anticoagulation with LMWH was associated with reduced mortality, improved markers of cell death, and curtailed viral persistence, indicating potential beneficial effects of LMWH beyond haemostasis, which encourages use of LMWH in COVID-19 patients without contraindications.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , /virology , Aged , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Austria/epidemiology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hemostasis , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , /prevention & control
17.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 704767, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317240

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/RTV) demonstrating in-vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2, large trials failed to show any net clinical benefit. Since SARS-CoV-2 has an EC50 of 16.4 µg/ml for LPV this could be due to inadequate dosing. Methods: COVID-19 positive patients admitted to the hospital who received high dose LPV/RTV were included. High dose (HD) LPV/RTV 200/50 mg was defined as four tablets bid as loading dose, then three tablets bid for up to 10 days. Trough plasma concentrations were measured after the loading dose and on day 5-7 in steady state (SS). Post loading dose (PLD) and SS plasma trough levels were compared with SS trough levels from COVID-19 patients who received normal dose (ND) LPV/RTV (2 tablets bid) at the beginning of the pandemic. Results: Fifty patients (30% female) with a median age of 59 years (interquartile range 49-70.25) received HD LPV/RTV. Median HD-PLD concentration was 24.9 µg/ml (IQR 15.8-30.3) and significantly higher than HD-SS (12.9 µg/ml, IQR 7.2-19.5, p < 0.001) and ND-SS (13.6 µg/ml, IQR 10.1-22.2, p = 0.013). HD-SS and ND-SS plasma levels did not differ significantly (p = 0.507). C-reactive-protein showed a positive correlation with HD-SS (Spearman correlation-coefficient rS = 0.42, p = 0.014) and ND-SS (rS = 0.81, p = 0.015) but not with HD-PLD (rS = 0.123, p = 0.43). Conclusion: HD-PLD plasma trough concentration was significantly higher than HD-SS and ND-SS concentration, but no difference was detected between HD-SS and ND-SS trough levels. Due to the high EC50 of SARS-CoV-2 and the fact that LPV/RTV is highly protein bound, it seems unlikely that LPV/RTV exhibits a relevant antiviral effect against SARS-CoV-2 in vivo.

18.
Infect Dis (Lond) ; 53(11): 820-829, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269478

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma (CP) containing antibodies derived from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) survivors has been proposed as a promising therapeutic option for severe COVID-19. METHODS: In our intensive care unit (ICU), 55 patients (46 male, median age 61 years) with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 (35 = 63.6% on mechanical ventilation, 7 = 14.5% on high-flow nasal oxygen, 12 = 20% on non-invasive ventilation, 1 = 1.8% without respiratory support) were treated with high-titre CP (200 mL per dose, range 1-6 doses, median 3 doses per patient, minimum titre > 1:100, Wantai test). 139 COVID-19 patients treated in the same ICU who did not receive CP served as control group. In 27 patients, the effect of CP on the individual levels of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies was assessed by ELISA in serum sample pairs collected before and after CP transfusion. RESULTS: The first CP dose was administered at a median of 8 days after symptom onset. 13 patients in the plasma cohort died (28-day mortality 24.1%), compared to 42 (30.2%) in the cohort who did not receive CP (p = 0.5, Pearson Chi-squared test). Out of the 27 individuals investigated for the presence of IgG antibodies, 8 did not have detectable IgG levels before the first CP transfusion. In this subpopulation, 3 patients (37.5%) died. Not a single confirmed adverse reaction to CP was noted. CONCLUSIONS: While adjunctive treatment with CP for severe and life-threatening COVID-19 was a very safe intervention, we did not observe any effect on mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Illness , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 133(17-18): 902-908, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269150

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In addition to respiratory symptoms, many patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present with neurological complications. Several case reports and small case series described myoclonus in five patients suffering from the disease. The purpose of this article is to report on five critically ill patients with COVID-19-associated myoclonus. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The clinical courses and test results of patients treated in the study center ICU and those of partner hospitals are described. Imaging, laboratory tests and electrophysiological test results are reviewed and discussed. RESULTS: In severe cases of COVID-19 myoclonus can manifest about 3 weeks after initial onset of symptoms. Sedation is sometimes effective for symptom control but impedes respiratory weaning. No viral particles or structural lesions explaining this phenomenon were found in this cohort. CONCLUSION: Myoclonus in patients with severe COVID-19 may be due to an inflammatory process, hypoxia or GABAergic impairment. Most patients received treatment with antiepileptic or anti-inflammatory agents and improved clinically.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Myoclonus , Critical Illness , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Myoclonus/chemically induced , Myoclonus/diagnosis , Myoclonus/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3132, 2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243296

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for massively-parallel, cost-effective tests monitoring viral spread. Here we present SARSeq, saliva analysis by RNA sequencing, a method to detect SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses on tens of thousands of samples in parallel. SARSeq relies on next generation sequencing of multiple amplicons generated in a multiplexed RT-PCR reaction. Two-dimensional, unique dual indexing, using four indices per sample, enables unambiguous and scalable assignment of reads to individual samples. We calibrate SARSeq on SARS-CoV-2 synthetic RNA, virions, and hundreds of human samples of various types. Robustness and sensitivity were virtually identical to quantitative RT-PCR. Double-blinded benchmarking to gold standard quantitative-RT-PCR performed by human diagnostics laboratories confirms this high sensitivity. SARSeq can be used to detect Influenza A and B viruses and human rhinovirus in parallel, and can be expanded for detection of other pathogens. Thus, SARSeq is ideally suited for differential diagnostic of infections during a pandemic.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Viruses/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , Diagnosis, Differential , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Polymerase Chain Reaction , RNA, Viral/genetics , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Saliva/virology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viruses/classification , Viruses/genetics
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